Search

Love Freely

#lovingfreelyandlivingstrong

Category

Following God’s Will

Jesus loves me. How can I best show it to others and remind myself?

Confusion

There are a lot of days that I just really feel lost, and like I don’t know what I’m doing. I’ve never really felt like I fit in, but there are times that I’m so sure that I was meant for a different generation or a different world that it’s painful to stay here where I am.

Don’t get me wrong – I love my life. I’m confident that God has a purpose for me and that His will is greater than mine, but it’s hard to walk in faith sometimes. When you don’t see anything positive occurring, and it feels like the entire world is blowing up, it’s hard to stay focused on following the will of someone you’ve never even seen with your own two eyes.

But that’s faith, I guess.

I look up at the sky and look at all of the different ecosystems and biospheres that exist, and I’m amazed at how someone could believe that all of these things were created by an accident. That seems more magical and mystical to me than believing that someone knowingly and lovingly created the world we live in – placed exactly where it needed to be for survival, with everything necessary to sustain us in a way that is (mostly) renewable within itself. To think of the intricacies of the human anatomy and physiology, how everything is in sync (or should be). It’s crazy to me to think that could have occurred by accident. In nature, everything that has not been touched by human hands and humanity, things that remain unmarred by our existence – they are beautiful. They serve a purpose. How could this have happened by accident?

When I start to feel lost, going outside and marveling in the wonder of the natural world usually fixes it. But sometimes it doesn’t. Most of the time that is caused by my depression or anxiety, because no matter how much you can understand something logically, chemicals alter your mood so much more strongly than pure logic. This is unfortunate, but it is the way it is. I don’t believe all this crap that people tell other people (usually Christians) that if they loved Jesus enough they wouldn’t be depressed, because you would have joy and a “peace that passes understanding.” You can have peace and still be anxious. You can feel joy but still be depressed. These are not mutually exclusive ideas. Do not make someone question their faith because of a chemical disorder. Remind them that there is always tomorrow, and to not lose hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and there is a purpose behind this crappy moment in time. Be light like Jesus tells you to be, jerkface. Don’t pull more darkness in.

I guess the point of this post is just this – as Christians, I believe that we are meant to believe in the purpose and the amazing creativity of our Creator. We are meant to be light to people who are in darkness, whether that be sin or depression. We are not meant to be cruel, to intentionally harm, or to be hateful towards people. If God is love, then remember that we are meant to intention our lives to being more like him. And he gives us an explicit definition of love:

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (ESV)

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.”

I added the emphasis to the above verses. Sometimes I think Christians focus so much on what nonbelievers are that they forget to be what they were called to be. We are told to be like Christ, who is God. And God is love. Apply this definition to everyone you meet, and maybe more people will understand why we believe grace is so important, and the changes that can happen when you let God in your heart.

Although love does not rejoice in wrongdoing, it does not insist on its own way. I believe that the lost can be guided more with a gentle hand and a gentle word of encouragement than they can be with a whip and a list of rules so long and ridiculous it would take your entire life just to learn them.

I just know how I feel when I get lost sometimes. Just something to think about.

 

-P

Advertisements

Ruth Chapter 4

So, I finally finished Ruth. Chapter 4 isn’t long, and it is very interesting to read about how the story is resolved between Ruth, Boaz, and Naomi. We left chapter 3 with the knowledge and expectation that the resolution would be taken care of the next day – Boaz was going to make sure of that. With everything we have been given about Boaz and the type of man he is, we fully expect him to keep his word. 

No surprise, he does. That next morning after sending Ruth away and telling her to not let anyone know where she had been, he heads to the city gate. Now, the city gates have an important role in the Bible pretty frequently – they are a gathering place, and a place where “legal and commercial transactions” took place. From here, Boaz calls out to the man that he had told Ruth he was going to ask to be the redeemer first, and if he said no, then Boaz would gladly take Ruth as his wife. This guy shows up (we don’t know what his name is), and beforeBoaz starts the conversation, he gathers 10 elders from the community to be witnesses for the upcoming transaction. He wanted to be sure that there was no way that this guy could go back on his word! From here, Boaz states that Naomi is selling the land of Elimelech, her late husband, and that with this land Ruth the Moabite was to be taken as his wife. The guy originally said yes, until hearing that he would have to take in Ruth as his wife. He then changes his mind, and says that if he takes this offer, he would be jeopardizing his own inheritance, and so he would have to pass. Then he hands Baz his sandal, yards yadda, the deal is done. Boaz then marries Ruth. 

After their marinate, Ruth gives birth to a son, and it is stated that Naomi was given the baby to be his nurse, but then states that Naomi was given a son. So, I’m not really sure, I guess Naomi adopted him as her own?? Who knows. The bottom line is that in verse 15, the women of the town tell Naomi, ” for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sounds, has given birth him.”  That’s a really sweet part of the story. Naomi was filled with bitterness – had asked to be called Mara because of it, and felt that she had no future and was completely empty. But God redeems not only her, but sweet Ruth, who had stayed with her beloved mother in law throughout this journey, and eventually became (in a way) Naomi’s redeemer. This son was named Obed, and he became the grandfather of David! THE David. 
After finishing this story, I’m choosing to believe that Naomi was truly acting in the best interests of Ruth by trying to hook her up with Boaz. Maybe she sent Ruth into a questionable situation because she rusted Boaz to be a man of God. Maybe she hoped that Ruth would know the line. Maybe she didn’t care. We may never know her intentions. But if Ruth had not followed Nami back to Bethlehem, David would never have been born. And thus, Jesus wouldn’t have been sired. God’s hand is all over and throughouut this story. It’s amazing to watch his Providence and his plan be fulfilled, exactly the way he wants it and plans it. 

Because honestly, if his people had had it their way, a Moabite wouldn’t have been the heroine in this story. It would have been a “good Jewish woman.” They were told not to take foreign wives, for crying out loud! But a foreign woman came and saved the day, and ended up with an amazing story and an amazing redemption that couldn’t have happened if she hadn’t followed her heart to follow Ruth and adopt her way of life. God called her out of darkness and gave her his light. That’s the only explanation. 

Ruth 3

So… It’s been like two days since I read chapter 2 in Ruth, and I haven’t come back to it. Mostly because I’m lazy. I could blame it on work and say it’s been busy, but really I just haven’t  been in the right mindset to write this post. So, here we go.

I know this chapter has some controversy over the whole “Naomi telling Ruth to get all dressed up and lay at the feet of a man that was drinking wine” deal, but I’m just saying, there are other things to focus on and gain from this chapter… so…

The opening of this chapter is the conversation between Ruth and Naomi regarding the next step for the relationship of Boaz and Ruth. Naomi advises Ruth to go and seek Boaz after he has had his fill of wine and food, and after she has bathed and anointed herself and changed clothes. To me, this seems very much like a proposition. I definitely had a flashback to Noah passing out naked in his tent after having too much to drink earlier in the Old Testament. There are a lot of Biblical sayings and advisement a about the dangers of wine and drunkenness. But regardless, Naomi is advising Ruth to go and seek Boaz out, and whether with words or not, she is asking and actively seeking his hand in marriage and a relationship that would include more protection and covenantial background than Ruth simply working in his field. And Ruth, being a good and devoted daughter, follows Naomi’s instructions and goes to Boaz and lays at his feet. It even takes a while for him to notice that she is there! But whatever.

From the moment that he sees Ruth, he recognizes that she is seeking him out as a redeemer. She even quotes what he had referenced before about being under the wings of God’s protection, and uses it in reference to him! To me, this is a romantic play on words, and  shows us that she believes he (Boaz) was the answer to her prayers for redemption. Now, the redemption monologue tripped me up for a while. Saying that Boaz was “redeeming her” sent my stomach into knots, thinking that maybe it waas unhealthy, because we don’t need to think of our husbands as “redeemer so” because Jesus is our redeemer. But this was in the Old Testament. This is an Old Testament reflection of faith, before Jesus was even in their picture. Defining redeemed here would probably be in the alternate definition: gain or regain possession of (something) in exchange for payment; or compensate for the faults or bad aspects of. So, he is redeeming her from her singleness. and from her inability to protect herself and care for herself. It may not seem to fit into modern day feminism, but it is what it is.
After Ruth quotes his words back to him, Boaz seems to soften up. He tells her that he recognizes that she is a worthy woman and her devotion to Naomi. He also recognizes that she is asking for a more substantial relationship and he is willing to make that happen to for her. He even tells her that he is going to take care of it soon, and to protect her reputation, he does not want anyone to know she was in the threshing floor with him, to keep rumors from spreading about her being promiscuous. There is so much protection from him, in every aspect of her life. It’s pretty amazing.

There’s another point to be made that when she came home to Naomi with so much barley, Naomi told her not to worry, because she knew that the matter would be sorted out that day. So he’s protective, productive, and a man of integrity and Godliness. What else could you ask for?

Besides having a wonderful base and example of a successful Godly relationship and love, there’s also another deeper meaning to this story. Naomi trusts that Boaz will respond appropriately when Ruth lies herself prostrate in front of him, asking for redemption. She has faith that what Ruth needs will be fulfilled if she approaches him and asks for it. There’s a great lesson in that. Jesus even said, “Seek me and you will find me., when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13). He again says, “anything you ask for in my name shall be given to you.”

“What you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in his Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. ” John 14:13-14.

So, to me this is a great lesson. Ask for it in Jesus’s name! Seek him with your whole heart on your sleeve, and that’s when you will find him. It worked for Ruth!

So my major take-away from this chapter is simply that. You never know what blessings you can get from God if you don’t ask. If they don’t happen, you know that it’s for his glory and the betterment of His kingdom.. but what if they DO?

What would you ask for from Jesus if you knew there was no limit to what you could get? What would you attempt if you knew you couldn’t fail?

These are the types of questions I’m focusing on for now. I know there are some clichés about them, but it’s honestly just good old truth. #truthbomb

 

Short Thoughts on Ruth 2

So, Ruth 2 is all about the meeting between Ruth and Boaz. From the moment we see Boaz in verse 4, he is speaking the Lord’s praises and encouraging his servants in a Godly manner. The first words we hear (or see) him say are: “The Lord be with you!” That says a lot to me. This says to me that the most important take-away that we have of Boaz is that he is a Godly man who loves the Lord.

As we go further through the chapter, we see that not only is he a man of God, but he is very concerned with the welfare of his servants and of Ruth. Ruth sets herself apart from the other servants by her diligent work. It is very similar to that of the Proverbs 31 woman – here it says that she “has continued from early morning until now, except for a short rest.” Ruth knew that she needed to be very appreciative of the opportunity that she was given, and she takes full advantage of it by working hard. She is also unafraid of hard work – she is out in the fields gleaning the barley that is left over from the “reapers.” When Boaz finds out who she is, he tells her to stay only in his field from now on, so that she will not have to worry about being assaulted by other workers, because she is protected in his field. That’s a pretty great introduction!

Ruth’s reaction to his caring nature is sweet – in verse 10 she “fell on her face, bowing to the ground, and said to him, ‘Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?'” This really reminds me of David in Psalm 8:4, and Job in 7:17. There is also a similarity between what she says and what Moses said to God when he was given the task of leading the Israelites out of slavery – “Who am I that they will take notice of me?” In Exodus 3:11 he says: But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” This idea of “Who am I?” really struck a cord with me. It’s important along with the ideas from the previous chapter.

Boaz also makes a reference in verse 12 to “the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge!” and this is just another way to show that he loved the Lord. This is seen all throughout the Psalms – David loved to use this metaphor. (Psalm 91:4) Boaz then invites Ruth to the table to share a meal and to eat until she is full. He gives her wine from his table. He is just all around taking care of her already, and he doesn’t have any relation to her other than her mother-in-law is part of his family. That’s a generous man! Then, if that wasn’t enough, he told his reapers to intentionally leave out bundles of barley for her to collect so that she would have more to take home with her! Just over and over again we see that he is already giving her so much and already so protective of her, and they have no relationship. It’s a great start to a wonderful relationship, and it’s also an amazing analogy to the love that God has for us. Without having anything to offer Him, He cares for us and makes us a part of His family with His generosity and protection. It’s pretty wonderful!

Short Thoughts on Ruth 1

So, after seeing a lot of my friends and Instacquaintances (yes I just made that word up, cool) post about how they are reading through Ruth, I decided maybe I would join the bandwagon a little late and do my own little read through/study.

Tonight I did just Chapter 1, and I’m planning (hopefully) to continue over the next 3 days to finish the book, since it only has 4 chapters.

I started out reading it and was just kinda, “Oh, okay, so her [Naomi] life was really sad… her husband and her sons died in an unknown amount of time and she was left with no family… alright.” But then, I decided to really think through some of the passages, and I found some pretty interesting thoughts I thought I would share.

Although Naomi has a tendency to be very sad and bitter (more on that in a minute), she does encourage her daughter in laws to become their own people again. She encourages them in verses 8-14 to leave her and return to their own people and families, but she does it in a “my life is so terrible, you don’t want to be around me, I have nothing to offer you” type of way, but she still does encourage them to pursue their own lives again, and not be afraid to seek new husbands. And one of the daughters does choose to do this – Orpah. This is the only thing we know about her. But as for Ruth, she not only wept with her mother in law, she shows her love and dedication to this woman by refusing to leave her side.

Probably the most famous verse (or group of verses) from the entire book happen in the first chapter, Ruth 1: 16-17, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me to you.”

What’s interesting to me is that this verse is now used at weddings. This is a verse that shows and explicates true, selfless, Jesus-like love for a woman that wasn’t her flesh and blood, but she became her adoptive family when she married Naomi’s son. This is really similar to the adoption analogy that is seen in many parts of the gospels. I love the fact that although this can be used to describe the selfless love that we are expected to have in marriage, but it really is more about selflessly loving the family and body of Christ.

Later in this same chapter, we see these two women journey back to Ruth’s homeland – Bethlehem – and upon their return, Naomi tells everyone that knew her to call her by Mara, not Naomi. This is because she believes that her life has been made bitter by the Lord. Naomi means “pleasant” while Mara means “bitter” interestingly enough.

This point didn’t seem very important to me at first. Yeah, she changed her name because she felt that her life was horrible, but so what? The importance in this is not just the name change, but the idea behind it. Her entire identity was now defined by that loss. The loss of her husband and her sons defined her entire being to the point that she felt the need to be renamed in a way that she felt portrayed her personality. She did not feel bitter about her life. She WAS bitter. That’s a scary thought.

 

I know I have a tendency to be defined by things that are happening in my life. I am depression, I am anxiety, I am failure; instead of seeing things how they are. I may feel depressed, I may feel anxious, I may feel failure if I don’t succeed the way I want, but I am not those things. I am choosing now to no longer be defined by those things and instead to let them be what they are:  conditions, shapes, states of my life that change every second. Why be defined by something that will be different tomorrow? Instead, I’m choosing now to be defined by what I know will not change: my status in God’s kingdom. I am His child, His beloved, and I’m ready to start being defined by that. There’s so much freedom when I live that way. It’s time to embrace it.

My Thoughts on Orlando… and yes, I am a Christian

As the world has been mourning the loss of so many lives in Orlando this past week, it’s really gotten me thinking; and the verse that continually pops into my head is Romans 12:15:

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 

I have seen so many blog posts, news stories, and social media that have been focused on how Christians judge the lifestyles of these people, or how Christians couldn’t possibly care about the shooting, and a lot of other really nasty things that have made me extremely sad for America.

The truth is, regardless of the lifestyle, the “sins” that these people committed, and all of the other crap that we’ve been hearing about, the bottom line is this:

The Bible itself says that we should be sad with those who are sad, and rejoice when they rejoice. Everyone is made in the image of God.  ALL fall short of the glory of God.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (ESV, emphasis mine). Romans 3:23.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27

The amazing part of Romans 3:23 is that in every translation it’s literally the exact same words. That has to mean something right? It says ALL people. All have fallen short – not just homosexual people, not just addicts, not just those with poor impulse control,  ALL.

So instead of making the Orlando tragedy about persecuting lifestyles (which shouldn’t be done in the first place – some people need to review how Jesus actually lived) but about appreciating that there were so many images of God that needlessly died. These people had families, loved ones, people who knew them, cared about them, and now those people will live with a loss like no other. Those who were lost can no longer create, love, or change. That, in itself, is a tragedy.

Focus on what actually happened. Don’t turn this into yet another way to publicize your agenda.

You can find me weeping with those who weep.

 

-P

Learning to Surrender

For the past few days (since my last blog post) I’ve really been focusing on aspects of my life that I’m not sure I like anymore, things I wish were different, and things that I find myself obsessively worrying about even when I say “I’m surrendering everything.” Over the past week, I’ve really learned that I focus a lot on how I think I make other people feel. Now, granted, I know that it is important to not make other people feel bad intentionally, and that we should always strive to be uplifting and supportive of others, but sometimes I think I don’t do a very good job of expressing that. I have a tendency to be extremely blunt, sometimes abrasive about what I think and expressing my opinion.

I think I want to change that. I don’t want to become a floor mat and let people run over me by any means, but I do want to learn how to be gentler in my interactions with people. As I surrender more of my life and more of me at my core to Jesus, the more I just want to approach people with the type of quiet confidence he had. He wasn’t shaken by what other people said. He wasn’t concerned about making other people angry when he was speaking the truth. He stood for what he knew was right, but he wasn’t agressive about it. He loved his people into truth; and that’s the type of relationship I want to have with the world. Jesus wanted his followers to do three things: Love Him (and the father), Love others, and stay strong in a world that is constantly trying to tear them down.

So I’m still focusing on Lamentations 3:19-33 (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out my last post here). But now I’m also focusing on how to love people better.

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” – 1 John 4: 7-8

How it all started

Sometimes, I like to look back and appreciate how I got to this point in my life, and many times it makes me realize just how different my life would be if I didn’t have God’s love and promises spoken over it. There have been plenty of times that I could have made a different decision, and changed my life completely. It never ceases to amaze me that our entire lives are made up of tiny decisions that lead us to where we are currently.

I also never ceases to amaze me that God has known from the beginning just how everything would turn out. Trying to understand God’s relationship with time is a complicated, complex, beast of a question. It’s sometimes best to just leave it at the fact that He is outside of it. I never thought in a million years that I would be where I am now, but I also don’t think that I would change anything even if I could.

I’ve made some poor decisions. But they’ve all lead me to where I am today, which I believe is right where I need to be. I have an awesome husband, am in a fantastic accelerated BSN program, in a wonderful fun-filled city, and am learning every day new things about myself, my relationship with others, and Jesus.

Last night, I went to church with a friend for the first time. It’s been a really long time since I’ve gotten to go to church because of work or school, and I got chills just from walking in. The sermon was on surrendering our lives back to Christ, with every aspect layed at his feet as an offering, and to truly let him Lord over our lives. I’ve been struggilng with this, and quite honestly I’m exhausted. Life isn’t easy. But trying to control my life is even more exhausting. It’s too much, and I know I’m not meant to do it.

So my goal for the next week is to consistently turn over my life to Christ. Again and again, just as his mercies are new every morning, I will give him the things that I have tried for so long to control and manipulate myself. Hopefully it will get easier as I go along.

 

Encouragement for this challenge: 

Romans 12:1-2

I appeal to you therefore, brothers,by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.Do not be conformed to this world,but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Galations 2:20

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”

Matthew 16:24-25

“Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.””

Isaiah 64:8

“But now, O LORD, You are our Father, We are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand.”

Lamentations 3:19-33

Remember my affliction and my wanderings,

    the wormwood and the gall!

20 

My soul continually remembers it

    and is bowed down within me.

21 

But this I call to mind,

    and therefore I have hope:

22 

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;

    his mercies never come to an end;

23 

they are new every morning;

    great is your faithfulness.

24 

“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,

    “therefore I will hope in him.”

25 

The Lord is good to those who wait for him,

    to the soul who seeks him.

26 

It is good that one should wait quietly

    for the salvation of the Lord.

27 

It is good for a man that he bear

    the yoke in his youth.

28 

Let him sit alone in silence

    when it is laid on him;

29 

let him put his mouth in the dust—

    there may yet be hope;

30 

let him give his cheek to the one who strikes,

    and let him be filled with insults.

31 

For the Lord will not

    cast off forever,

32 

but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion

    according to the abundance of his steadfast love;

33 

for he does not afflict from his heart

    or grieve the children of men.

PS – I LOVE this Lamentations part. I’m planning on memorizing it this week.

Love you guys. Stay strong!

Who Knows?

I promised myself I would do better about posting frequently, or at least consistently. But it seems that in this moment, I’m in a season of failure. I’m failing to myself in a lot of things that I wanted/promised myself I would change.

But that is not the whole story. I am also in a season of change, and of learning. I am learning how to be a good wife (I’m in the first month of marriage – might I say, it’s quite intimidating) and how to honor God within my married life. I am also learning how to be content with “leaving and cleaving” as they say – if you’re confused about what I’m talking about, you can see it here in Genesis 2 and the cross-references.

I would be lying if I said that my faith-life hasn’t been a struggle over the past few months. I’ve had so much struggle, so much pain, and so much heartache during a period of my life that others told me was supposed to be the “best time” or the “best day” of your life. I have struggled with my family, with my friends, and with myself, and because of that, I have been very downcast and very disappointed in God’s plans and his works in my life. I so wanted what everyone told me to expect, but in the end, it just wasn’t what God wanted me to experience (obviously). So, here I am.

Over the past few days, I have been reflecting on my life, and on how I have been treating my relationship with Jesus during this hard, hard time of my life. And I must say, I’m just exhausted. When things began happening, I did what I always did, which was run to Jesus. I ran to Him in prayer, through my Bible, through my community of Jesus-lovers, but nothing made the struggle easier. For the first time in my life, running to Jesus wasn’t enough to make the struggle easier or make the struggle seem worth it. I still did not see the good in what was happening in my life. I saw no inkling of purpose, other than to bring about an immense amount of pain and destruction to what I had been trying so hard to build. I held on tight to what I thought HE had given me, and I didn’t ever stop to think that maybe I just needed to let go. To let go of those friendships that disappointed me, to let go of the destructive family relationships I have had my entire life, and to let go of my expectations for myself and my life; and because I clung (or cleaved, haha) to those ideals and those expectations, I stayed frustrated and upset and exhausted. The worst part was that after a while of feeling so overwhelmed and tired, instead of just letting go and staying with Jesus, I held on to my hurt and my heartache, and decided that talking to Jesus was just too painful and was pointless. [Now, I am NOT saying that I gave up on my faith, or that I turned my back on Jesus. I am saying that I had no desire to seek him or to speak with him, even about my struggles]. I became dried up. No fruit has been growing from my vine for a while now, and I have seen no growth.

And it breaks my heart.

Thankfully, I have an amazingly wonderful husband, who is so much stronger than me, wiser than me, and loves Jesus more than he loves me – and because of that, my silence and anger towards Jesus has been called out. My husband demanded that he pray for me (and us, but mostly me) and for my faith to be strengthened and renewed. This prayer was enough to break my heart that has been hardened for a while now; and this prayer was enough to make me reflect and begin to seek a way to strengthen my heart and teach myself a better way to cope with things when they are hard and when I’m disappointed with how things are going.

So my challenge for myself now, is to turn to Jesus always. Praying without ceasing did not seem to be enough for me this past struggle-season. I need instead to learn how to pray without ceasing, and to hope without becoming weary.

It’s not much, but I’m taking it one step at a time to begin to rebuild and refocus my relationship with my savior. I know that he never moved, and that his hand is still extended out for mine in friendship, love, and an unceasing commitment to saving me. For that I am more thankful than I can express. For now, I’m simply resting in these words:

“but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”  Isaiah 40:31.

“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” Luke 18:1

“Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.” 2 Corinthians 4:1.

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;” 2 Corinthians 4:8.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9.

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?” Romans 8:35 (and really all of More than Conquerors in Romans 8).

“Scarcely had I passed them when I found the one my heart loves. I held him and would not let him go till I had brought him to my mother’s house, to the room of the one who conceived me.” Song of Solomon 3:4.

and PS: To Jon, my best friend and husband, I am so thankful for you, for your faith, and for your constant and unwavering love for us and hope for us. Without you, I don’t know where I would be. You’re the best part of my life, and I’m so glad that I can honestly say I get to look forward to the rest of my life with your light and your love. I love you so much.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑